Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Sonja Corbitt

2/23/2010 (5 years ago)

Catholic Online (

The most significant find of First Temple history was privately funded by a couple in New York with an interest in Biblical Archeology.

Temple Complex

Temple Complex


By Sonja Corbitt

Catholic Online (

2/23/2010 (5 years ago)

Published in Middle East

BETHPAGE, TN (Catholic Online) - In the area known as Ophel, between the City of David and the southern wall of the Temple Mount of Israel, archaeologists have uncovered parts of an ancient complex believed to correspond and date to the time of King Solomon´s Temple.

Located just outside the present-day walls of Jerusalem's Old City, next to the holy site known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, a 231-foot long, 20 foot-high section of ancient stone wall, believed to be the city wall, was discovered.

Along with these fortifications were found a small house beside a gateway leading to what was once the royal courtyard, a building that served city officials, and a tower strategically positioned opposite the Mount of Olives and overlooking the Kidron river.

Volunteer college students from Oklahoma, hired workers, and archaeology students from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem all participated in the dig under university professor Dr. Eilat Mazar. The excavations were privately funded by a couple in New York with an interest in Biblical Archeology, and took place over a three-month period. 

Dr. Mazar indicated how the findings correlate to other archeological discoveries from the time of the First Temple. "The city wall that has been uncovered testifies to a ruling presence. Its strength and form of construction indicate a high level of engineering," she said.

The Scriptures tell us that the Temple and palace King Solomon built were surrounded with the walls of the city of Jerusalem (1 Kings 3:1). Due to their notable construction skills, historians believe the Phoenicians helped the Israelites build the structures. The finds help illustrate that 10th century Jerusalem was capable and peaceful enough to conduct such large building projects, as the Scriptures claim.
Between the large tower at the city gate and the royal building, the archaeologists uncovered a section of the corner tower that is 26 feet long and 20 feet high. The tower was built of carved stones said to be of "unusual beauty."

Pottery shards were discovered within the rubble filling the ground floor of the royal building near the gatehouse, and the largest jars ever found in Jerusalem, almost 4 feet in height, were found on the same floor in rooms that are thought to have served as storage areas.

The jars were discovered to have survived a major fire, and partial inscriptions on the jars and pottery shards, "for the king" on an ancient Hebrew seal on the jar handles, all indicate that they were possessions used by, and belonging to, high-level government officials within the monarchy.

Dating done on the discoveries supports researchers´ belief that the complex dates to the 10th century B.C. "This is the first time that a structure from that time has been found that may correlate with written descriptions of Solomon's building in Jerusalem," Dr. Mazar said.

"A comparison of this latest finding with city walls and gates from the period of the First Temple, as well as pottery found at the site, enable us to postulate with a great degree of assurance that the wall that has been revealed is that which was built by King Solomon in Jerusalem in the latter part of the tenth century B.C."

The discovery of this monumental site, the most significant find of First Temple history, is important because the existence of the Hebrew monarchy spoken of in the Scriptures, and its corresponding political strength, is disputed among Holy Land archeologists. It significantly supports the growing body of archeological evidence concerning the Davidic Kingdom spoken of in the Old Testament, a kingdom from whence came the Christ.

Sonja Corbitt is a Catholic Scripture teacher, study author and speaker. She is a contributing writer for Catholic Online. Visit her at and


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Middle East

Heartbreaking true story of American allies in Iraq denied citizenship for 'security-related reasons' Watch

Image of Iraqi allies are responsible for navigating U.S. troops through unknown terrain and have helped journalists, aid workers and diplomats survive, but the United States refuses known allies citizenship based on matters


In a heartbreaking opinion piece,'s investigations editor Christine Spolar laments America's refusal to allow Iraqi allies citizenship. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "I spoke to two Iraqis, former colleagues who had risked their lives for Americans, to ... continue reading

CRYBABY KILLER: Islamic State fighter breaks down in tears after being captured -- on video Watch

Image of The prisoner, in civilian clothing seems to have his hands bound behind his back, his eyes covered with a blindfold.


Despite the fact that they frequently attack unarmed women and children, the Islamist State terrorist group likes to provide an image to the world that they are unrepentant, fearless warriors. Part of that image was tarnished with the discovery of a video of an ... continue reading

GRAPHIC IMAGES: Islamic extremist shown being BLOWN UP while making propaganda video Watch

Image of A bearded Islamic fighter, identified as some as being Ajnad al-Sham, gives a propaganda speech to the camera as a bomb drops from the sky, destroying him.


It at first appears to be a horrible, horrible TV comedy sketch. A bearded Islamic fighter, identified as some as being Ajnad al-Sham, gives a propaganda speech to the camera as a bomb drops from the sky, destroying him. The agonized cries of both him and his camera ... continue reading

Evidence mounts: U.S. supplying ISIS, herding fighters towards Syria to attack Assad Watch

Image of A fighter poses with what is reported to be to be U.S. supplies.

By David Drudge (California Network)

The pattern is becoming even clearer. Obama is supplying ISIS in Syria, while bombing them in Iraq. It is becoming apparent that the Obama administration is using the military to nudge ISIS towards Assad as part of its ongoing campaign to reshape the Middle East. LOS ... continue reading

How to balance compassion with security concerns with influx of Syrian refugees Watch

Image of In the wake of the attacks, U.S. Catholic bishops have asked Americans not to scapegoat all Syrian refugees as possible terrorists and to remember their dire humanitarian plight.

By Matt Hadro, CNA/EWTN News

As the U.S. plans to increase its intake of Syrian refugees to 10,000 next year, Americans - including Catholics - are trying to balance national security concerns with compassion for the refugees. Washington D.C. (CNA) - "Americans need to understand that ... continue reading

The one thing ISIS is afraid of - and it's not what you think! Watch

Image of Nicolas Hnin was an ISIS hostage for ten months, during which he observed the remarkable ignorance of Islam extremists.


In a blog written by Nicolas Hénin, posted to, Hénin wrote what life was like as an ISIS hostage, and revealed the one thing ISIS fears most. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - During his ten-month captivity, Hénin observed the extremist view of ... continue reading

UPDATE: Did the U.S. military actually know they were bombing the Doctors Without Borders hospital full of innocent people? Watch

Image of The burned Doctors Without Borders hospital following explosions in the city of Kunduz, on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015 (Mdecins Sans Frontires/AP).


In a log released by Doctors Without Borders on Thursday for a report on the October 3 bombing of its Kunduz, Afghanistan medical facility, it was revealed that the United States military was aware the building was not in use as a Taliban headquarters. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

You won't believe what happened to these misguided teens who joined ISIS Watch

Image of Sabina Selimovic was only 15-years-old when she disappeared from her home in Austria and resurfaced as a married woman in Syria after joining ISIS.


Two Austrian teenagers joined ISIS and became "poster girls" last year. Since then, one has been reportedly beaten to death during an attempt to escape Syria, while the other has been declared missing. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The teenagers, Samra Kesinovic ... continue reading

'A stab in the back': Putin accuses Turkey of treachery after Russian warplane shot down Watch

Image of Turkey claims it warned Russian plane ten times before shooting down the Russian warplane (Getty Images).


Russian warplane ignored ten warnings and repeatedly violated Turkey's airspace before being shot down in what Russian president Vladimir Putin has deemed an act of treachery. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Putin claims the downed plane will result in "serious ... continue reading

Russia kills 472 ISIS targets over the weekend Watch

Image of A French Rafale fighter jet takes off (AFP/Getty Images).


This weekend, France launched their first fighter jet attacks on ISIS from their Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier. They used Rafale fighter jets to carry out their mission, which resulted in the deaths of nearly 500 ISIS targets within a two-day span. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

All Middle East News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Parents' Prayer For Their Children HD Video
  • Daily Readings for Tuesday, December 01, 2015
  • 'Body lifted from the ground': Young Central American woman dies ...
  • St. Eligius: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, December 01, 2015
  • Prayer For Faith HD Video
  • Pope Francis does the unthinkable following emotional tragedy in ...
  • Opium, heroin or cocaine: What drug is YOUR country known for?

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Romans 10:9-18
9 that if you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and if you ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 19:2-3, 4-5
2 day discourses of it to day, night to night hands on the ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 4:18-22
18 As he was walking by the Lake of Galilee he saw two brothers, Simon, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 30th, 2015 Image

St. Andrew
November 30: Andrew, like his brother Simon Peter, was a ... Read More